SMaRT Center Pushes Spokane To Recycle In Record Numbers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

SMaRT Center Pushes Spokane To Recycle In Record Numbers

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane recently released new numbers about Spokane County's successful recycling rates.

In 2012, recycling in Washington State was at 50.1%. In Spokane, however, the recycling rate was even better, at 54.7%.

The Spokane Regional Solid Waste System said a big reason for these impressive numbers is because Spokane has a single stream recycling system, the SMaRT facility, which stands for Spokane Material and Recycling Technology center.

This high-tech facility sorts through all types of recyclables, everything from glass to paper to cardboard to plastic. This makes it far easier for residents to recycle - all they have to do is throw all of their recyclables into one Big Blue bin.

Because it requires no extra work, this has made it far easier for Spokane residents to incorporate recycling into their normal routine.

The SMaRT center runs 18 hours a day and employs 85 people. And, even with all of the high-tech equipment, it still requires the precision of the human eye to pick out unwanted materials.

Robin Freedman, Senior Communications Manager at Waste Management, the company that operates the SMaRT facility, explained that another reason Spokane recycles so well is because of local government officials' commitment to educating residents about recycling.

"We all need to work together in educating residents about what they should not put in the recycling bin," said Freedman. "It's very important that the materials processed at this center are the best, in order to have a 2nd life."

Freedman stressed the motto, "if in doubt, throw it out," to encourage people not to recycle materials they are unsure about as the wrong thing could stop up the facility. She said it was a good idea to rinse materials before recycling them too.

Of all the materials people decide to recycle, managers at the SMaRT center said some of the strangest things they have encountered are deer carcasses and chainsaws - both of which should have been thrown in the trash.

Freedman also explained that other local governments reach out to cities in Washington, Spokane in particular, for advice about how this "single stream, hands-on-government model" works.

"We are a little behind California," admitted Freedman. "But not other parts of the country. We're really progressive...the Pacific Northwest is ahead of the rest of the country."

Freedman also explained that here in Spokane, the recycled aluminum goes to Annheuser-Busch, and the recycled paper goes almost exclusively back into local, Inland Northwest newsprint.


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    Thursday, September 20 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-09-20 13:14:31 GMT
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
  • Cold Case: The Missing Wedding Guest

    Cold Case: The Missing Wedding Guest

    Sunday, September 23 2018 11:39 PM EDT2018-09-24 03:39:50 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - It's been nearly two years since anyone has seen or heard from Paul Brazeau. He was last seen at his son's wedding. His brokenhearted family reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner with a letter asking for his case to be featured in our Q6 Cold Case series. The day Paul vanished started out so wonderful. "It was a happy day," said Paul's aunt Georgine Glatt. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - It's been nearly two years since anyone has seen or heard from Paul Brazeau. He was last seen at his son's wedding. His brokenhearted family reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner with a letter asking for his case to be featured in our Q6 Cold Case series. The day Paul vanished started out so wonderful. "It was a happy day," said Paul's aunt Georgine Glatt. 

    >>
  • UPDATE: One man detained near Rockford Bay after SWAT situation

    UPDATE: One man detained near Rockford Bay after SWAT situation

    Monday, September 24 2018 2:28 PM EDT2018-09-24 18:28:11 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says one man was detained following a SWAT situation near Rockford Bay Monday morning. The incident happened near Highway 95 and Bellgrove Road. Deputies say it was a domestic dispute and the 2nd time they had been called the home in the past 24 hours. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says one man was detained following a SWAT situation near Rockford Bay Monday morning. The incident happened near Highway 95 and Bellgrove Road. Deputies say it was a domestic dispute and the 2nd time they had been called the home in the past 24 hours. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • UPDATE: One man detained near Rockford Bay after SWAT situation

    UPDATE: One man detained near Rockford Bay after SWAT situation

    Monday, September 24 2018 2:28 PM EDT2018-09-24 18:28:11 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says one man was detained following a SWAT situation near Rockford Bay Monday morning. The incident happened near Highway 95 and Bellgrove Road. Deputies say it was a domestic dispute and the 2nd time they had been called the home in the past 24 hours. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says one man was detained following a SWAT situation near Rockford Bay Monday morning. The incident happened near Highway 95 and Bellgrove Road. Deputies say it was a domestic dispute and the 2nd time they had been called the home in the past 24 hours. 

    >>
  • Honor Flight departs Spokane for D.C.

    Honor Flight departs Spokane for D.C.

    Monday, September 24 2018 2:13 PM EDT2018-09-24 18:13:45 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Veterans flew out of the Spokane International Airport to Washington D.C. for the Inland Northwest Honor Flight Monday morning.  The flight consisted of 8 WWII veterans, 6 Korean War veterans and 89 Vietnam War veterans. While in D.C., the group will see the memorials that have been built in their honor. It will be a quick trip as they will return Tuesday night at 7:30 pm. The public is invited to come out and welcome them home. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Veterans flew out of the Spokane International Airport to Washington D.C. for the Inland Northwest Honor Flight Monday morning.  The flight consisted of 8 WWII veterans, 6 Korean War veterans and 89 Vietnam War veterans. While in D.C., the group will see the memorials that have been built in their honor. It will be a quick trip as they will return Tuesday night at 7:30 pm. The public is invited to come out and welcome them home. 

    >>
  • 2nd alarm fire at downtown Spokane apartment complex

    2nd alarm fire at downtown Spokane apartment complex

    Monday, September 24 2018 1:56 PM EDT2018-09-24 17:56:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Firefighters battled a large fire at a downtown Spokane apartment complex in downtown Spokane Monday morning.  Responding to crews saw flames coming from a second-story window in the complex near 2nd and Pine St., just east of Division and immediately upgraded the call to a 2nd alarm.  Firefighters began searching for anyone inside the building but they say it appears everyone made it out safely. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Firefighters battled a large fire at a downtown Spokane apartment complex in downtown Spokane Monday morning.  Responding to crews saw flames coming from a second-story window in the complex near 2nd and Pine St., just east of Division and immediately upgraded the call to a 2nd alarm.  Firefighters began searching for anyone inside the building but they say it appears everyone made it out safely. 

    >>